Steel shares rise as Shanghai launches steel futures
Steel futures jumped on the first day of trading on the Shanghai Futures Exchange today. Steel reinforcement bars for September delivery rose 5.2 percent to RMB3577 ($524) a metric tonne, and wire-rod contracts rose 6.6 percent to RMB 3,409 a tonne.
China launched the futures market as a tool for domestic steelmakers to hedge the risk of fluctuating domestic benchmark prices, which have tumbled 14 percent due to overproduction over the last two months.
The market’s trading volume exceeded expectations, with analysts saying the market has attracted numerous individual investors. Foreign individuals are barred from trading Chinese futures, according to the regulations, but foreign enterprises may trade.
Baoshan Steel (SH:600019), China’s biggest steelmaker, rose 3.48 percent, while Wuhan Iron & Steel Co (SH:600005), the fifth largest, climbed 8.7 percent. Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Union Co (SH:600010) surged to the 10 percent trading cap, and Maanshan Iron & Steel Co (HK:0323) rose 1.71 percent.
With a rising trade volume, the Shanghai Futures Exchange is intended to assist building Shanghai into a major international financial centre, according to the State Council’s plans released yesterday. The Shanghai Stock Exchange announced today that it is preparing the launch of exchange-traded funds to track the nation's broadest blue-chip stock index this year.
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